Writing by Numbers With Mystery Author Janet Evanovich

Janet Evanovich

Janet Evanovich

Many of us spend time thinking up weird stories, but rarely do we turn those self-made adventures in to a career. However, that's exactly what best-selling author Janet Evanovich did.

Evanovich started her career as a romance writer, moved to writing mysteries, and created heroin Stephanie Plum, a one-time lingerer buyer turned bounty hunter. The long running and much loved Plum series was also turned in to a film, "One For The Money."

Writer's Bone was lucky enough to chat with Evanovich about her career as a writer, how she learned to write dialogue, and what her favorite candy is.

Writer’s Bone: When did you know you were a storyteller? Was it at birth or was it something you realized years later? 

Janet Evanovich: As a kid who lived in a world of my own, I made up stories all the time. After graduating from art school (and discovering that I had an allergy to the pigment in the paint), I started writing those stories down. The first one was about the pornographic adventures of a fairy who lived in a second rate fairy forest in Pennsylvania. That was my starting point and I progressed from there. 

Writer’s Bone: We read that you took an improv acting class to learn the act of dialog. Did this help with your writing? Also, do you continue taking acting classes now?

JE: Yep, I really sucked at writing dialog. I had a friend who was teaching acting and I took a couple improv classes. It taught me to develop character and I became very good at talking to myself. I no longer take acting classes, but I talk to myself a lot.

Writer’s Bone: What's the single best piece of advice an established writer like yourself has for an aspiring author? 

JE: Sit your butt in the chair and start writing. Do it every day. You don't have to write full time—an hour or so seven days a week and you'll be amazed at what you can turn out. Even if your output is only two pages a day, at the end of a month you'll have 60 pages. Writing is like any other muscle; it gets stronger when you exercise.

Writer’s Bone: How many numbers are you planning to go up to? 

JE: This is where I normally would say "infinity." Well, maybe that's too high a number, but the point is that I have no plan to stop the Stephanie Plum series anytime soon.

Writer’s Bone: Can you tell us one unknown random fact about yourself? 

JE: How about two? My favorite Tootsie Roll Pop is grape and my favorite vegetable is birthday cake.

You can learn more about Janet Evanovich by visiting her official website or following her on Twitter @janetevanovich

For more interviews, check out our full archive